A Night With Milo


Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos (left) poses with Bear Facts reporter Thomas Anderson during a speech at George Mason University.

Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos (left) poses with Bear Facts reporter Thomas Anderson during a speech at George Mason University.
Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos (left) poses with Bear Facts reporter Thomas Anderson during a speech at George Mason University.

One of the most well-regarded philosophers of the Enlightenment was Voltaire. An outspoken advocate of free speech, Voltaire uttered the famous lines “I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.”
Trailblazers like Voltaire helped bring about free speech in Western society, leading to a world where people are free to express their opinions, no matter how unpopular or preposterous those opinions might be. America helped lead the way in implementing free speech, leading to a vibrant culture which put an emphasis on a sort of intellectual marketplace, where ideas could be explored, challenged and adopted.
However, free-speech is being eroded on college campuses, places where students are supposed to challenge their existing beliefs and discover new ways of thinking. Many colleges are now fostering a politically correct attitude on campus that has allied with mainstream leftists and attempts to silence conservative ideas.
One person trying to change that is Milo Yiannopoulos, a senior editor at Breitbart.com. Frequently referred to by his first name, Milo is a gay British conservative, and has energized young conservatives by using his brash and mischievous style to lampoon figures on the left and the right. He is extremely critical of Islam, feminism and transexuals, is pro-Trump, politically incorrect, and is a First Amendment advocate. His “Dangerous F*ggot” Tour, which has stopped at hundreds of college campuses, has been met with protests from students and administrators alike, who brand his talks “hate speech”. Colleges such as Villanova, Maryland, and New York University have cancelled Milo’s events. At University of California-Los Angeles, protesters formed a human chain around the theater Milo was scheduled to speak at. At Rutgers, protesters smeared themselves in fake blood and blasted air horns in the middle of Milo’s talk. In perhaps the most extreme case, protesters at DePaul stole Milo’s microphone and threatened violence against Milo and attendees to Milo’s speech.
As a fan of Milo’s podcast, writing, and social media exploits, I decided to attend his Oct. 25 visit to George Mason University, to see if what he said during his speeches was really worth silencing.
The event took place in the Johnson Hall Cinema, a small theater in the heart of campus. By the time the show started, the theater was about three quarters full, mostly filled with college students. Milo entered the theater to an enthusiastic response, with the whole crowd chanting his name as he made his way up to the stage. Each stop of the tour covers a different issue, at GMU Milo tackled Voter Fraud. Milo spoke from a script, but it only served as a guide as he engaged the crowd with a hilarious and crude improvisational style.
While Donald Trump’s concerns about the election being rigged have been ridiculed by most major media outlets, Milo intelligently analyzed the integrity of the election in a manner that the inarticulate Trump has not. His arguments were not conservative propaganda, Milo backed up what he said by referencing widely accepted facts from history and the present day. One of the more compelling arguments Milo brought up was how the 2016 Austrian Presidential election is being redone after the discovery of widespread vote manipulation against the Freedom Party of Austria, a party whose rise has many similarities to that of Trump. Milo also dissected the documents which have been leaked by WikiLeaks, saying that the Democratic National Committee’s rigging of the Democratic primary could cause them to try something sinister in the general election. He even referenced mass voter fraud throughout American history, from Lyndon Johnson to Barack Obama. Later, one of Milo’s colleagues at Breitbart, Allum Bokhari, gave a brief talk about the role of the internet in elections. He spoke about how Facebook manipulates their trending topics to suppress Conservative opinions, and how Google changes their autocomplete feature to make certain candidates look more favorable. Overall, I thought Milo and Allum gave a very compelling, intelligent, and humorous talk about a topic that has been widely mocked by mainstream media outlets.
I was also surprised by the people I met at the show. I talked to an Asian-American artist from DC, met a group of high school girls who kept insisting that the wage gap was a myth, saw people of every ethnicity, and a flamboyant gay guy who wouldn’t stop flaunting his “Gays for Trump” sign. In line to meet Milo after the show, I overheard many attendees having productive discussions about a wide range of topics.
I got my picture taken with Milo, and as I stood there smiling for the camera, I wondered who was really dangerous. A funny and entertaining journalist who gives compelling speeches that attract people from all areas of politics and encourages a free exchange of ideas, or a campus culture of intellectual suppression that tells you what is right and wrong and shames you if you dare challenge it. Somehow, I don’t think Milo is really as dangerous as he seems.